Yes, everyone! It's the big news this pre-Xmas Monday morning. The U.S. Senate wanted to give everyone a present this week, and in the wee hours of this morning a whopping 60 of them voted to end debate on the thoroughly compromised health care bill that's been the talk of the nation lo these many months. As the NYT reports, the vote concluded "a long day of acid, partisan debate" in which Democrats blamed Republicans for pulling out every last stop they had to delay the vote, and Republicans blamed Democrats for everything under the sun, including destroying America and keeping poor, 92-year-old Robert Byrd up way past his bedtime (Democrats, in turn, blamed Republicans for this too).
The 2,700-page bill still needs to be reconciled with the very different one passed by the House last month, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already vowed to reject the Senate Bill. The biggest gain of the Senate bill is the insuring of 15 million currently uninsured Americans through an expansion of Medicaid, which will be paid for by raising taxes for people earning over $200,000 a year, and couples earning over $250,000 a year.